Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Questions (284)

Jan O'Sullivan


284. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if an anomaly exists (details supplied); if so, her plans to rectify it; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7553/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

Social welfare legislation provides that, for social assistance schemes, all income and capital, including property other than the family home, is assessable for means-testing purposes.

For recipients of the State Pension (Non-Contributory), Disability Allowance and the Blind Pension, where the claimant sells their principal residence in order to purchase alternative accommodation which will be occupied as his or her main residence, then social welfare legislation provides for €190,500 of the gross proceeds to be disregarded in the means assessment. This disregard also applies in cases where the claimant sells their principal residence in order to reside with a carer who is in receipt of Carer’s Benefit or Carer’s Allowance in respect of the care and attention provided to the claimant.

Accordingly, in the case outlined by the Deputy, if the claimant is in receipt of the State Pension (Non-Contributory), and sells his or her house to use the proceeds to purchase alternative accommodation (in this case, an extension to the son or daughter’s house) which will be the claimant’s main residence, then the disregard should apply. In this regard, the legislation refers to "alternative accommodation" which is not restricted to the purchase of a house or apartment and can include purchasing an extension.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.